Virgin enters Russian telco market

British giant Virgin Group is to launch WiMAX services in Russia’s 30 biggest cities, according to the Kommersant business daily. An official announcement is expected later this week.

The British company will reportedly offer its broadband wireless services under its own brand, through operator Trivon.

The company Trivon was founded in 2004 in order to provide telecom services for small and medium-sized businesses in Eastern Europe, Russia, CIS, the Middle and Far East.

The expected start date of the project is May 15, though neither Virgin nor Trivon have commented officially.

Kommersant quotes iKS-Consulting analyst Konstantin Ankilov as saying the average cost of intoducing a WiMAX service into one city is between $USD 500,000 to $US 1 million. 

The daily also writes that Virgin plans to get access to the frequency range of 2.3-2.4 Hz that the State Commission for Radio Frequencies has earlier marked out for social purposes.

Along with sufficient investments, this could help the British company become the number one player in the Russian broadband services market, within 4 years.